Nr. Preston, United Kingdom
  • 2
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 2
  • ratings
  • The Casual Vacancy

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 17 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,492
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,493

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early 40s, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stick with it

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-10-12

A social study rather than a novel, worth a listen

4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-14

Would you listen to The Casual Vacancy again? Why?

Yes. Rowling's adult offering gives us a snapshot into a range of social situations, all achingly linked by circumstance and coincidence.

What did you like best about this story?

The bleak yet realistic truths the story revealed, and the fact that the story doesn't exactly go anywhere so much as give us a brief glimpse into the characters' lives.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Without spoilers it is difficult to say. I enjoyed Crystal's storyline.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A bleak yet thought-provoking social study.

Any additional comments?

Worth a listen and well-read.

  • The Return of the Dancing Master

  • By: Henning Mankell
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200

Herbert Molin, a retired police officer, lives alone in a remote cottage in northern Sweden. Two things seem to consume him; his passion for the tango, and an obsession with the "demons" he believes to be pursuing him. Early one morning shots shatter Molin's window- by the time his body is found it is almost unrecognisable. Stefan Lindman is another off-the-job police officer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply satisfying

  • By Barry on 26-08-12

An excellent listen

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

I always enjoy Mankell's work, and I found this one particularly gripping. The character depth was excellent as ever, and the plot keeps you hanging on to every word. Sean Barrett narration was another of the things that made this audiobook for me. The voices were well chosen and consistent, and always believable.

If you are a newcomer to Scandinavian crime, this is a cracking choice to become acquainted with one of the original and most formidable authors of the genre.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful